Articles Posted in Mesothelioma Exposure

A life-long printer worker. A paint factory worker. An aviation gas refueler. What do these occupations have in common ? These are occupations in which workers are exposed to carcinogenic chemicals on a daily basis. They often work for companies who do not value personal safety of their workers. Companies express their lack of concern by refusing to invest in safety programs and issuing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves to their workers.

Many of the solvents that such workers use on a daily basis contain carcinogens. These chemicals such as benzene, toluene, xylene, and naptha cause cancers that do no manifest themselves until 20-30 years after exposure. These types of illnesses are known as “latency injuries”. To illustrate, chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is associated with an exposure to benzene that can occur 25 years prior to the first manifestations of the symptoms.

Often times, a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) accompanies these chemicals. However, industrial companies are lax in educating their workers about the risks of such chemicals from the information on the MSDS. The MSDSs contain explicit warnings on the carcinogenic effects as well as pulmonary and respiratory dangers. There are several international organizations which issue warnings on carcinogenic effects, including the National Toxicology Program (NTP), IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), OSHA (Occupational Safety Health Administration), and ACGIH (American Conference Of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) . The MSDS will often cite these organizations when discussing the classification of the particular components of a product.

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